It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Help ATS via PayPal:
learn more

Is this DISCRIMINATION? People prefer people with easy to pronounce names.

page: 1

log in


posted on May, 3 2014 @ 10:58 AM
It looks like there's a new study out there showing some pretty interesting aspects of the human psyche. Apparently, we are more likely to believe someone or hire them for a job if their name is easy to pronounce. Makes you wonder how Zbigniew Brzezinski ever got a job in government.

We Believe People With Easy-to-Pronounce Names, Says Science

The study was conducted with college undergrads in New Zealand and Canada. The students were first asked to rank the "pronounceability" of real names from 18 different languages. Then, the students were given a list of possibly real, possibly fake facts attributed to people with a range of invented names. The students were much more likely to believe that "Putali Angami" was truthful than "Yevgeni Dzherzhinsky," because, according to the study's participants, "Putali Angami" was easier to pronounce.

The study authors said the results show the way that our own subconscious opinions can affect not only who we believe, but who we hire for a job and who we decide to buy things from.

In the United States, these subconscious beliefs about names sometimes seep into the workplace. A separate study conducted over several years in the United States, and published in 2013, showed that immigrants who "Americanized" their names were more likely to get jobs than ones who opted not to. They also ended up making more money.

Yahoo shine

Other studies also showed that women with gender neutral names are more likely to become judges than women with "girly" sounding names. I wonder how long before some politician jumps on this and decides to fight for the rights of hard to pronounce named people.

It also makes you wonder; is this a result of people being too lazy to bother with hard to pronounce names or is it a cultural thing in which we're just more trusting of people who come from a familiar background? Like the article pointed out, a person with a name full of consonants would be more trusted in an Eastern European country where they originated from than someone named "Smith".

Is this the result of laziness or just people preferring familiarity over novelty? Has anyone out there ever experienced name discrimination?

posted on May, 3 2014 @ 11:01 AM
I don't think it is discrimination.

Then again, many people are remembered because of an unusual name.

Now, if you are going to hire Bob over Tyrone, then you are most likely getting into the discrimination territory, especially if both are equally qualified for a job.

posted on May, 3 2014 @ 11:35 AM
I think there is something to the name thing. In the medical profession, it seems there are a lot of the same names.

I have seen three Dr Cohens, unrelated in the last 10 years, and two of them were the same ENT profession. There are other Dr names that I hear very often, as well, has been one of those things that makes you go hmmm. I do not mean common names either. Met a few Dr Loveless as well, seems to be a common Dr name. (last names)

I have noticed too girls with girly girl names, are not the ones you usually see in high professions. Of course not always the case, just a generalization.

Unique names do good in Hollywood and music, though a lot of those are stage names.

posted on May, 3 2014 @ 12:01 PM
It's the same with phone numbers , the easier it is to remember the more calls you will likely get.

Or the name that matches your profession like the carpenter Hart Wood, i heard he got a lot of female attention to, or the gravedigger Dick Bones.

posted on May, 3 2014 @ 12:34 PM
Not me, but I do detest when the person with a difficult to pronounce name makes it a point that I get it right. This makes no sense, just give yourself a nickname.

posted on May, 3 2014 @ 12:55 PM
a reply to: g0dhims3lf

So you get mad when someone wants you to say their name correctly?? you suck!

If your name is Jeffrey and I pronounced it Yefray repeatedly, would you get frustrated? Or how about if you had to hear a joke about how hard your last name is to pronounce every time someone calls you or you speak to a customer service person on the phone?

I am first generation American. My first name is Mitchell... easy to pronounce, no problem (except when foreign call center people say Michelle... really annoying). But my last name is 14 letters long (not going to put it up for privacy reasons). EVERY F'n TIME an ameican customer service person tries to pronounce my name they just make up sounds most of the time. They add sounds that aren't even anywhere near how my name sounds.

AND THEN..... I have to hear the same joke every time.... "I bet it took you forever to learn how to spell your name"... well no it didn't because i'm NOT STUPID!

Now I had a nickname when I was in military school and it was the first 6 letters of my last name. Very easy to pronounce, BUT STILL PEOPLE GET IT WRONG.

The worst part is that I know for a fact I've been discriminated against because of my name. There have been many times in a job interview where the interviewer mentions how little of an accent I have when I speak english, OR "you speak english so well"... OF COURSE I DO ITS MY FIRST LANGUAGE...

OK.. i've vented enough.. thanks ATS... and g0dhims3lf you suck!

posted on May, 3 2014 @ 01:46 PM
a reply to: FortAnthem
Its a pattern recognition thing,we are good at remembering short 2 or 3 syllable words.
The initial hearing of a multi syllable name in a job interview may just be enough to subconsciously make the employer go for the dude with the "easy" 2 or 3 syllable name.


edit on 3/5/2014 by Silcone Synapse because: hmmm

posted on May, 3 2014 @ 01:50 PM
a reply to: Whatsreal

The Jeffrey example sounds like an accent, in which case I consider it being said correctly through their accent. If I try to say it, that should be good enough. Everyone gets my last name wrong, it has an accent mark on it but whatever I get the point. Making a thing about it is entirely up to the person. Most the time Ill just ask first, "How do you pronounce your name?" if I try and butcher then Ill ask, "Do you or will you go by another?" this makes life easier for both parties.
edit on 3-5-2014 by g0dhims3lf because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 3 2014 @ 02:08 PM
i'd trust someone that goes by nicholas over someone who goes by nick.
my two cents.

posted on May, 4 2014 @ 08:01 AM
I think part of it is definitely laziness because I get people who insist on calling me John when my name is Jonathan. Two extra syllables and it's just not worth the effort.

Hopefully, in the majority it's not racism but perhaps a false sense of security from familiarity with the easily pronounced.

Also I think the reason people with relatively difficult to pronounce names are treated to all those clichéd jokes is because they make people feel stupid. It's a coping mechanism; "oh haha it's not my fault I can't pronounce that name it is incomprehensible to everyone."

new topics

top topics


log in